The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

109 mins | Musical | May 1949

Director:

Charles Walters

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

Harry Stradling

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was You Made Me Love You . Some contemporary reviews incorrectly refer to the film as The Berkleys of Broadway . According to a Jul 1948 HR news item, Judy Garland, originally set for the part played by Ginger Rogers, began work on the picture but was later replaced due to an "illness." (As noted in modern sources, Garland's "illness" was widely known to be a nervous breakdown.) The film marked the screen debut of Broadway musical star Joyce Mathews, and was the first re-teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers since their appearance in the 1939 film The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4333). The Barkleys of Broadway was the final film in which Astaire and Rogers were co-starred. Actor Jacques Francois was borrowed from Universal-International for this picture.
       A Sep 1948 HR news item indicates that three Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin songs written for the film were not included in the picture: "Swing Time," "The Courtin' of Elmer and Ella" and "Natchez on the Mississippi." Modern sources note that a fourth song, "Poetry in Motion," was written for the film but never used. The song "They Can't Take That Away from Me" was also used in another Rogers and Astaire film, the 1937 RKO picture Shall We Dance (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3991). The Barkleys on Broadway included one of Astaire's most famous solo numbers, "Shoes with Wings On." The number, which is part of a ... More Less

The working title of this film was You Made Me Love You . Some contemporary reviews incorrectly refer to the film as The Berkleys of Broadway . According to a Jul 1948 HR news item, Judy Garland, originally set for the part played by Ginger Rogers, began work on the picture but was later replaced due to an "illness." (As noted in modern sources, Garland's "illness" was widely known to be a nervous breakdown.) The film marked the screen debut of Broadway musical star Joyce Mathews, and was the first re-teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers since their appearance in the 1939 film The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4333). The Barkleys of Broadway was the final film in which Astaire and Rogers were co-starred. Actor Jacques Francois was borrowed from Universal-International for this picture.
       A Sep 1948 HR news item indicates that three Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin songs written for the film were not included in the picture: "Swing Time," "The Courtin' of Elmer and Ella" and "Natchez on the Mississippi." Modern sources note that a fourth song, "Poetry in Motion," was written for the film but never used. The song "They Can't Take That Away from Me" was also used in another Rogers and Astaire film, the 1937 RKO picture Shall We Dance (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3991). The Barkleys on Broadway included one of Astaire's most famous solo numbers, "Shoes with Wings On." The number, which is part of a Broadway show starring "Josh Barkley," features Astaire as a cobbler whose shoes "come to life" and dance around his shop.
       A biography of producer Arthur Freed lists writer Sidney Sheldon as having contributed to the screenplay. Modern sources indicate that the final cost of the film was $2,325,420. Harry Stradling was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Color Cinematography. Rogers reprised her role for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on 1 Jan 1951. George Murphy played Astaire's role in the radio version. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Sep 49
pp. 318-19, 335-36.
Box Office
16 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 49
p. 3, 10
Film Daily
11 Apr 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 48
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 48
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 48
p.14.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Apr 49
p. 4573.
New York Times
5 May 49
p. 34.
Variety
13 Oct 49
p. 20.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Miss Rogers' cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Vocal arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Dancing shoes eff in "Shoes with Wings On" number
DANCE
Mus numbers staged and dir by
Dir of "Shoes with Wings On" number
MAKEUP
Hair styles des by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col dir
Assoc
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Bouncin' the Blues" by Harry Warren
"Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
"Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian.
SONGS
"You'd Be Hard to Replace," "My One and Only Highland Fling," "Swing Trot," "Weekend in the Country," "Shoes with Wings On" and "Manhattan Downbeat," music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Ira Gershwin
"They Can't Take That Away From Me," music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
You Made Me Love You
Release Date:
May 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 4 May 1949
Production Date:
mid July--late October 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2204
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
109
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13473
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In New York, on the opening night of their new show, Josh and Dinah Barkley, a husband and wife musical comedy team, quarrel when Josh accuses his wife of flirting with French playwright Jacques Pierre Barredout. Jacques has suggested to Dinah that she leave musical comedy theater to play tragic roles, but Josh wants her to continue as his partner. The following day, the Barkleys' producer, Ezra Miller, introduces the couple to the hopelessly untalented singer Shirlene May, who has been signed as Dinah's understudy. Later, at the Flandreau Art Gallery, Dinah is disgusted by a portrait of herself and Josh, and is insulted when the artist likens Josh to Svengali and implies that Dinah is under Josh's spell. One weekend, the Barkleys and Ezra visit Jacques at his country home in Danbridge, where Jacques is celebrating the completion of his new play. The play, about the life of Sarah Bernhardt, is to star Pamela Driscoll, a second-rate actress. When Dinah criticizes Jacques' casting decision, he agrees with her and tells her that she would be the better choice. Back in New York, Josh discovers that Dinah has secretly been rehearsing for the leading role in Jacques' play, and accuses her of having an affair with the playwright. The ensuing quarrel results in the Barkleys' separation and the end of their professional association. Josh performs his next show without Dinah, while Dinah continues to rehearse her part in Jacques' play. As she is unaccustomed to dramatic acting, Dinah's initial rehearsals prove disastrous. In the hopes of reuniting the Barkleys, Ezra tricks Dinah and Josh into performing together at a Mercy Hospital benefit show. ... +


In New York, on the opening night of their new show, Josh and Dinah Barkley, a husband and wife musical comedy team, quarrel when Josh accuses his wife of flirting with French playwright Jacques Pierre Barredout. Jacques has suggested to Dinah that she leave musical comedy theater to play tragic roles, but Josh wants her to continue as his partner. The following day, the Barkleys' producer, Ezra Miller, introduces the couple to the hopelessly untalented singer Shirlene May, who has been signed as Dinah's understudy. Later, at the Flandreau Art Gallery, Dinah is disgusted by a portrait of herself and Josh, and is insulted when the artist likens Josh to Svengali and implies that Dinah is under Josh's spell. One weekend, the Barkleys and Ezra visit Jacques at his country home in Danbridge, where Jacques is celebrating the completion of his new play. The play, about the life of Sarah Bernhardt, is to star Pamela Driscoll, a second-rate actress. When Dinah criticizes Jacques' casting decision, he agrees with her and tells her that she would be the better choice. Back in New York, Josh discovers that Dinah has secretly been rehearsing for the leading role in Jacques' play, and accuses her of having an affair with the playwright. The ensuing quarrel results in the Barkleys' separation and the end of their professional association. Josh performs his next show without Dinah, while Dinah continues to rehearse her part in Jacques' play. As she is unaccustomed to dramatic acting, Dinah's initial rehearsals prove disastrous. In the hopes of reuniting the Barkleys, Ezra tricks Dinah and Josh into performing together at a Mercy Hospital benefit show. The Barkleys give a crowd-pleasing performance, after which Josh suggests a reconciliation. Dinah rejects Josh's offer, though, and tells him that he has taken her for granted for too long. Josh later attends the opening night of Jacques' play and is filled with pride as he watches Dinah give a brilliant performance as Sarah Bernhardt. After the show, Dinah discovers that Josh impersonated Jacques in many telephone calls he made to her, and she decides to get even by telling him that she loves Jacques. The news leaves Josh heartbroken until Dinah confesses her trick and professes her love for him. The Barkleys celebrate their reconciliation with a dance, and they return to the stage as a dancing team. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.